Archive for the ‘food’ Category

But What About the Olive Haters?

Posted on: April 14th, 2010 by admin 6 Comments

The esteemed food science writer Harold McGhee reminds readers that some humans are genetically predisposed to hate cilantro. We know this already and feel bad for those people.

The untold story is the segment of the population that finds olives repellent. Olive oil poses no problem, but olives themselves – any kind – make us gag.

My personal theory is that this is a genetic remnant from a time when olives were poisonous to some ancestor of Homo sapiens. I’m only half joking.

When friends are planning to cook for me and ask if there’s anything I don’t eat, my stock answer is: “I will eat anything except an olive.” There are foods I don’t like (licorice, for example) but I’ll still eat them to be polite. Olives? No way.

This sometimes causes awkwardness with others. People think at first I am a picky eater. “Just the opposite,” I protest. And then when I go into detail, they are so surprised by what I tell them that I think they don’t believe me.

In my lifetime I’ve only met two others who possess the olive repulsion. Interestingly, they are both from Scotland.

No doubt olivaphobia is a rare trait, and that’s why we haven’t read about it in the Times. Maybe if we took a head count we’d learn there are more of us than anyone realized. Olive haters of the world: leave a comment.

How Soon Can I Get a Reservation?

Posted on: November 1st, 2009 by admin No Comments

When was the last time the Times offered so much stuff worth reading?

Can’t wait to dig into the presidential marriage. We learn on the first screen (out of ten! – may have to print this one) that their famous New York date night turned out to be a bummer for them. While they were having dinner, I was walking up Fifth Avenue a few blocks away and caught myself tearing up. Why? As much as anything else, they’re teaching America how to behave publicly in a loving marriage. Who else has ever done that?

And while the Times often stumbles in its frantic race to slap poorly considered multimedia reporting onto its Web site, the paper’s blogs kick ass. (Oh, please, can’t we come up with a more euphonious word than blog?)

Well is being modest. Exemplary is more like it. And Maira Kalman is given ample space to do nothing less than reinvent reportage.

And now, in the blog You’re the Boss: The Art of Running a Small Business, Bruce Buschel lists the One Hundred Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (Part 1). WOW. Number seventeen has long been a pet peeve. I cannot wait to eat in this man’s restaurant.

A Culinary Tour of Portland

Posted on: October 9th, 2009 by admin No Comments

Let’s begin with breakfast.


This is what Fuller’s looked like way back when:


For lunch, you’d think that grabbing a burrito at one of these stands would be the quick option,


but in fact you wait because everyone knows how excellent the food is. (The line was long at this place and non-existent next door at Mr. Taco Mexican Food. I felt a little bad for Mr. Taco.) For a snack in the middle of the night, I confess I did patronize


and posting this tempts me to head back there when I’m done. As for what to drink,


it does seem very un-Portland to have all these water fountains constantly running.

Two in Two Days

Posted on: April 17th, 2006 by admin 1 Comment

Another gap filled. This time, lunch at Himalayan (formerly Tibetan) Yak, in Jackson Heights. I can’t believe I’ve lived here this long and failed to make the trip. The powerfully spiced buffet is $6.99 and the place is literally underneath the 7 train, so there are no excuses. Order the pork curry.

Let’s see, what else is on the list of things to do before I die? (Not that I’m planning to anytime soon, but you never know.)

Bad Things Really Do Happen When You Leave the City

Posted on: January 10th, 2006 by admin 6 Comments

I go out of town for one week and you let this happen? C’mon!

What Happens If I Look Up “Mince?”

Posted on: December 28th, 2005 by admin 2 Comments

I wondered: just what exactly is in a bouquet garni? Does it really require a trip to the store, or do I already have the necessary herbs in the cupboard? Checking the index of the Escoffier cookbook yields this answer: “Bouquets Garnis, see Faggots.” This should be fun, I thought. I then had to ask what, precisely, I was being instructed to do when I turned to the Fs and saw that the first entry is “Faison.

Think Globally, Spend Locally (Until All Your Money Is Gone)

Posted on: September 14th, 2005 by admin 3 Comments


The Greenmarket is indeed a wondrous thing, but not without its dark underbelly.

I admit, it’s been a long time since I’ve had to take a math class, but look closely: if I’m not mistaken, what we’re all looking at here is LETTUCE SELLING AT $22 A POUND.

Can it be a coincidence that it’s being sold by Windfall Farms?

Gawker From Another Planet

Posted on: July 13th, 2005 by admin 1 Comment

In the alternative universe where I’m president, stalkerazzi sites make room for sightings of minimalism pioneer La Monte Young, looking befuddled by the range of possibilities in the produce section of the Union Square Whole Foods.